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Influenza Season – Who Needs a Flu Vaccination?

Who needs a flu vaccination?

You, colleagues, patients and loved ones

Even healthy people can get the flu, and it can be serious.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, especially those at high risk for serious complications (i.e., infants, children, adults >65; those with heart disease, asthma, and diabetes; and pregnant women.) Health care staff are at risk for acquiring influenza and transmitting it to their patients


  • Up to 20% – will get flu this year
  • 200,000 – will be hospitalized with flu
  • Up to 49,000 – will die from flu-related illness
  • <47% – vaccinated last flu season
  • >22% – healthcare staff NOT vaccinated last year
  • 1 to 4 days – for symptoms to appear
  • 1-2 days – contagious before symptoms appear
  • 2 weeks – after vaccination you are protected

Flu vaccination drops off quickly at the end of November. But in the United States, flu activity is usually highest between December and February and continues as late as May.

This season’s flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses. Flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu. Vaccination can reduce illness, doctors’ visits, missed work and school, and prevent hospitalizations.

With flu activity starting to increase, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine to protect yourself, patients, colleagues and your loved ones.

CDC has many resources to help promote flu vaccination including fact sheets, brochures, posters, stickers, badges, web tools, videos and e-cards to send out.

Everyday precautions to prevent colds and flu

  • Wash hands often with soap and water especially after a cough or blowing nose.
  • Use alcohol-based hand rubs if soap and water are not available.
  • Cough or sneeze into elbow/sleeve or cover with tissue and wash hands afterwards.
  • Don’t touch eyes, nose, mouth as viruses are spread that way.

Image Courtesy of Allan Foster via flickr licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0